Notes from JFC Hearing

By John Forester | April 25, 2019

Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee held it’s final public hearing on the 2019-21 state budget bill in Green Bay.  The SAA was extremely well-represented with the following superintendents and district team members providing testimony:

Vanessa Moran (Clintonville Assistant Principal and Howard – Suamico Board Member) also testified.  Oostburg Superintendent, Kevin Bruggink, and Director of Finance, Kris De Bruine, submitted testimony.

Many thanks to these SAA members for their leadership.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Special Education Talking Points

By John Forester | April 17, 2019

In response to member requests, I have put together some additional talking points on the importance of increasing special education categorical aid in the 2019-21 State Budget.  These talking points were designed to address several issues including:

In your continued advocacy efforts with your legislators, please feel free to use any of these talking points that you believe best support our position on increasing special education categorical aid.

Please call if you have questions.  Thank you.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Notes from JFC Hearing

By John Forester | April 16, 2019

Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee held it’s third of four public hearings on the 2019-21 state budget bill in River Falls.  The SAA was well-represented with superintendents Jamie Benson (River Falls), Patrick Olson (New Richmond), Bruce Quinton (Pepin), Joe Zydowsky (Menomonie), Mark Luebker (Osceola) and John Humphries (Thorp) providing testimony.  CESA 6 Administrator Jerry Walters also provided testimony, as did Osceola Business Manager Lynette Edwards.

Many thanks to these SAA members for their leadership.

Jamie Benson Testimony

Patrick Olson Testimony

Bruce Quinton Testimony

Joe Zydowsky Testimony

Mark Luebker Testimony

John Humphries Testimony

For those of you planning to testify at the remaining hearing in Greeen Bay, here are my suggestions:

Once again, we need a strong showing at the last JFC budget hearing.  If you have questions about testifying please call me at 608-242-1370.

Here is the hearing location and time:

Topics: Legislative Action, SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Notes from JFC Hearing

By John Forester | April 11, 2019

Yesterday, the Joint Finance Committee held it’s second of four public hearings on the 2019-21 state budget bill in Oak Creek.  The SAA was well-represented with superintendents Keith Posley (Milwaukee) and Deb Kerr (Brown Deer) providing testimony.  Deb Kerr was also joined by a team of Brown Deer administrators.  The following business managers also provided testimony:  John Stellmacher (Hartford), Jonathan Mitchell (St. Francis), Andrew Chromy (Oak Creek), Mike Gerlach (Fond du Lac), and Blaise Paul (South Milwaukee).  I’m also pleased to report that at least two special education directors, Amanda Mack (St. Francis) and Bridget Kotarak (Kenosha), delivered very compelling testimony on the need for increased funding for special education.

Many thanks to these SAA members for their leadership.

John Stellmacher Testimony

Jonathan Mitchell Testimony

Andrew Chromy Testimony

Mike Gerlach Testimony

Blaise Paul Testimony

Amanda Mack Testimony

For those of you planning to testify at one of the remaining hearings, here are my suggestions:

Once again, we need a strong showing at the remaining JFC budget hearings.  If you have questions about testifying please call me at 608-242-1370.

Here are the upcoming hearing locations and times:

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

MU Poll: 74% Favor “Major Increase” in Special Education Aid

By John Forester | April 10, 2019

According to the Marquette University Law School Poll released today, 70% of respondents say the state should accept federal funds to expand Medicaid coverage while 23% say no.

74% favor a “major increase” in state aid for special education while 19% say they do not.  Check out the coverage from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Reminder — Moving Expenses Now Taxable Wages

By John Forester | April 9, 2019

From the Legal Side . . .

BoardmanClark provided the SAA with the following information regarding how moving expenses are handled under the new tax law passed at the end of 2017.  We think this is important information for SAA members and we are posting it with the permission of BoardmanClark.

“The new tax law passed at the end of 2017 changed the taxation of the reimbursement of an employee’s moving expenses. Previously, an employer could reimburse an employee for qualified moving expenses and the reimbursement would not be subject to income or employment taxes.  Under the new tax law  and starting as of January 1, 2018, any amounts paid as a reimbursement of an employee’s moving expenses are subject to income and employment taxes. These amounts would be included as taxable wages on an employee’s W-2. Employers can still reimburse reasonable moving expenses but the employer should make sure that all amounts reimbursed are treated as taxable wages subject to income and employment tax.”

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update, SAA Legal Side | No Comments »

Evers and Legislative Leaders are Barely Talking

By John Forester | April 9, 2019

I found this news story about the current lack of engagement between Governor Evers and GOP legislative leadership interesting.  Check it out.

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Notes from JFC Hearing

By John Forester | April 9, 2019

Last Friday, April 5th, the Joint Finance Committee held it’s first of four public hearings on the 2019-21 state budget bill in Janesville.  The SAA was well-represented with the following school superintendents providing testimony:  Rick Waski (Monroe), Pat DeKlotz (Kettle Moraine), Steve Pophal (Janesville), Pam Streich (Lake Mills), and Jill Underly (Pecatonica).  Business managers Brad Boll (Beloit Turner) and Jamie Merath (Evansville) also provided testimony.  Many thanks to these SAA members for their leadership.

Rick Waski Testimony

Pat Deklotz Testimony

Pam Streich Testimony

Jill Underly Testimony

Brad Boll Testimony

For those of you planning to testify at one of the remaining hearings, here are my suggestions:

Once again, we need a strong showing at the remaining JFC budget hearings.  If you have questions about testifying please call me at 608-242-1370.

Here are the upcoming hearing locations and times:

Topics: Legislative Action, SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

School Referendum Results

By John Forester | April 3, 2019

From The Wheeler Report:

Please see below the School Referendum Results from around the state compiled by The Wheeler Report from DPI data.  The results can be summarized as follows:

District Name Total Amount Type Brief Description
Albany

Passed

$2,750,000.00 Issue Debt Construction of an addition and renovations
Baraboo

Passed

$41,700,000.00 Issue Debt Additions, renovations, and capital maintenance projects at Jack Young Middle School; and acquisition of related furnishings, fixtures and equipment.
Clinton Community

Failed

$41,995,000.00 Issue Debt New 4K-6 building, renovation to accommodate 7-8 at the existing high school, related furnishing and equipment, capital maintenance, agriculture and tech ed expansion, related equipment, disposing of existing elementary and middle school sites
Deforest Area

Passed

$125,000,000.00 Issue Debt Issue debt in the amount of $125,000,000 for the purpose of paying the cost of a school
building and improvement project consisting of construction of a new intermediate school and maintenance building on District owned land in the Village of Windsor; renovation of
Yahara Elementary School; renovation of DeForest Area Middle School, including a portion to be remodeled as the District Office; renovation and expansion of DeForest Area High School; site improvements; and acquisition of furniture, fixtures and equipment.
Deforest Area

Passed

$2,500,000.00 RR – 2019 To exceed the revenue limit specified in Section 121.91, Wisconsin Statutes, by $2,500,000 starting in the 2019-2020 school year and thereafter for recurring purposes consisting of operating the new intermediate school and addition to the high school, expanding District programming supporting student achievement and the District’s capacity to attract and retain quality staff, and reducing capital project borrowing costs.
Fond Du Lac

Passed

$91,500,000.00 Issue Debt Issue Debt for Capital Maintenance and Improvement Projects.
Fond Du Lac

Passed

$7,000,000.00 Issue Debt Issue Debt for Capital Maintenance and Improvement Projects.
Frederic

Passed

$2,500,000.00 NR – 2019 Exceed the revenue limit by an amount not to exceed $500,000 on a non-recurring basis for five years beginning with the 2019-20 school year for operational expenses, staffing and maintenance costs.

Read the rest of this entry »

Topics: SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

Testifying At JFC Hearings

By John Forester | April 2, 2019

As you know, beginning this Friday, April 5, the Joint Finance Committee plans to hold 4 public hearings on the Governor’s 2019-21 State Budget.  Those hearings include:

We have been told by Capitol sources that it is extremely important for administrators, board members and parents to show up at these hearings to advocate strongly on behalf of the children we serve.  Those SAA members interested in testifying at one of these four hearings should let me know so I can help to coordinate the arrangements for your testimony.

For those of you planning to testify, here are my suggestions:

Once again, we need a strong showing at the JFC budget hearings.  If you have questions about testifying please call me at 608-242-1370.

Thank you.

Topics: Legislative Action, SAA Capitol Reports, SAA Capitol Reports with Email Notifications, SAA Latest Update | No Comments »

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